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With talking about whether we need love and learning all that Fisher had to share about men and women responding to love, I got to thinking, “If men fall in love faster than women and with just as much passion, then why does it seem like they do not show love for as long?” Now, this might just be me that feels this way, but from my experiences, guys only romance the girl the first few months of a relationship and then it all ends. No more surprise flowers or treats, a lot less cuddling and kisses, and way fewer actual conversations. It feels as if the more a man claims to love you, the less he is likely to do all these things that would make a woman feel loved. I do not know about every other woman out there, but for me personally, the more I fall in love with someone, the more I show it – the more I want to cuddle and kiss and talk and be around that person.
During the course of my study on love, I have learned two very important things: 1) if you truly love someone, you show it by how you ACT towards that person, and 2) there are many different ways someone can show love. Just because I am not feeling love does not mean that person is not showing me love in his own way.
Studies have found that men and women express love differently. A study published by the Personality and Social Psychology journal found that men express love “most likely…. by planning date nights or activities or initiating sex” while women express love “by ‘nagging’ less and by not sweating the small stuff.” Therapists and psychologists encourage men and women to express, or not express, emotions in certain ways. However, it is impossible to express and accept feelings for one another if each of you is unaware of the other person’s love language.
The concept of “love language” is a popular relationship therapy based on the book The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, by Gary Chapman. Chapman explains each individual expresses and receives love differently. There are five common love languages used to express love towards someone and how someone receives love: 1) words of affirmation, 2) acts of service, 3) receiving gifts, 4) quality time, and 5) physical touch. Individuals have their own unique way they show love as well as the way they feel loved. For me personally, I show love through acts of service but I feel loved through quality time and physical touch. (Find out your love language at http://www.5lovelanguages.com ).
- Quality Time: If you or your partner’s love language is quality time, then that person needs plenty of one-on-one interaction in order to feel special and valued. Giving your partner your undivided attention is one of the best ways you can show your love. This may mean cuddling before bed or going out for a date night – quality time is how you feel connected. Some people pride themselves in the ability to watch TV, scroll through Facebook newsfeed, and listen to their partner all at the same time – although an admirable trait, this is not speaking the love language of quality time. It requires removal of all distractions, looking into your partner’s eyes, and genuinely listening and interacting. To your partner, 20 minutes of undivided attention – listening and conversing – is enough to fill their love tank to the max. Men, if your woman receives love through quality time and you really want to impress her, then the next time she walks in the room while you are watching the football game, mute the TV, look her in the eyes and do not take your eyes off her while she is in the room. Ask her about her day and genuinely listen and respond. Those three to five minutes could make her feel more love than any gift, touch, or words of affirmation. (Not to mention, you will score some major points!!!)
- Words of Affirmation: In this love language, compliments and words expressing appreciation are how someone feels loved. This may mean that you like to hear that you are a good parent or that your hair cut looks sexy – any small token of verbal gratitude and appreciation are how you feel loved and close to your partner. With words of affirmation, your spoken praise and appreciation is the key to making your partner feel loved. It is compliments and gratitude to show your love.
- Physical Touch: In this love language, affection is the key element in feeling loved. This may mean that you need strokes, kisses, hugs, and lots of cuddling. Affection is how you feel close to your partner, making you feel intimate and desired by your partner. We all know the emotional power of physical touch. In a relationship, physical touch includes everything from putting a hand on your partner’s shoulder as you walk by, touching their leg while driving in the car, holding hands while watching TV, kissing each other when you are in the same room, to embracing and sexual intercourse (if you are married of course). If your partner’s love language is physical touch, nothing communicates love more clearly that for you to take the initiative to reach out and touch your mate.
- Acts of Service: If this is your love language or your partner’s love language, it means you show love or need love through thoughtful gestures and favors. Maybe you draw your partner a hot bath or that he rubs your feet after a long day or starting a pot of coffee for him in the morning so it is ready when he wakes up. Maybe it is making sure he comes home to a clean house and always has clean clothes to wear or making him dinner – as long as it is thoughtful and considerate, any act like these make you feel loved, desired, and connected. “Actions speak louder than words” – for some, this is true in feeling loved. Nothing will speak more deeply to your partner emotionally than acts of service.
- Receiving Gifts: In this love language, you enjoy receiving thoughtful presents in order to feel love. In every society throughout history, gift giving has been perceived as an expression of love. It is universal because there is something within the human psyche that says, “If you love someone, you will give to him or her.” For some people, receiving gifts is the primary way they feel loved – their unique love language. The thing that makes them feel loved more deeply. In addition to gifts on birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries, it is the no occasion gifts that make them feel the most loved. Most importantly, it is not the price or elaborateness of the gift that makes the person feel loved; it is the thought behind the gift. Even small tokens such as your partner’s favorite candy bar from the gas station up the street make them feel special and valued. Even something as simple as a handmade card or flower from the yard will communicate your love for those whose love language is receiving gifts.
The concept of love languages can work for any couple in a relationship if you first decipher what love language you speak and asking your partner what love language they speak. Together, you can brainstorm ways to learn to speak each other’s love language. For example, if you need quality time and your partner needs affection, you can plan a date night where you get your partner all to yourself and in return fill the date with lots of kisses, hugs, and cuddles. In the end, you will both feel loved, desired, and valued which means your bond will grow even stronger. Step 1: Learn your love language and the love language of your partner. A great place to do that is at http://www.5lovelanguages.com . If you have yet to read the book “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman, I highly recommend you pick it up. You can order it now. You can get a used copy from Amazon for as cheap as $3.25 (http://www.amazon.com/The-Love-Languages-Secret-Lasts/dp/0802473156/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1412953333&sr=8-1&keywords=The+5+love+languages+by+Gary+Chapman ). Step 2: Learn to speak your partner’s love language – what to do, and what not to do. Once you learn your partner’s love language, it is time to learn to speak it. As when learning any new language, this involves learning the right things to say and the wrong things to say. Learning a new language is never a simple task. You have to learn cultural idioms, faux pas, and taboos so you can avoid them. The same applies when learning to speak a new love language. Just as certain behaviors can make them feel loved, other behaviors can be devastating. Below is a chart created to help you understand each love language – how to communicate, actions to take, and what to avoid.
No matter your partner’s love language, it is important to remember to be united in love. Colossians 2:2 says, “My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love…” God calls us to be united with our partner in love and to encourage them. Furthermore, God calls us to show love with true actions. 1 John 3:18 says, “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech, but with actions and in truth.” It is important to remember that love is an action verb and to feel love, the other person has to sense the message in nonverbal ways.
Love is a choice as much as it is a feeling. Those who give love will receive love.
Still need help with ideas on how to show love? Here are 100 ways men can show women love and 100 ways women can show men love:
1. Start and/or end each day by holding hands and praying together with your wife.
2. Pray for her every day and make it a point to pray with her when she is troubled.
3. Communicate with her instead of talking AT her or shutting her out emotionally.
4. Talk to her respectfully without demeaning her or hurting her feelings.
5. Compliment her for the giftedness you see in her. Be specific.
6. Show interest in her friends and give her time to be with them.
7. Do something active together to lift her spirit —even taking a walk hand-in-hand.
8. Express to her that you need and value her.
9. Show enthusiasm for the things that she’s excited about—let your actions show it.
10. Find something that makes you laugh together.
11. Put your arms around her when she needs comfort, holding her silently.
12. Surprise her by doing something you think she would want done before she asks.
13. Try not to make sudden changes without discussing them with her first.
14. Show interest in that which she values as important in her life.
15. Allow your wife to teach you things without being defensive.
16. When you feel you must correct her, be gentle —speak the truth in LOVE.
17. Let go of the small stuff. We all have annoying habits and preferences that are different from our spouse’s. (Dave Ramsey)
18. Show her that she matters more to you than any one you could be with, that threatens her security in your marriage.
19. Be a good listener. Show her you value what she says.
20. Plan a mini-honeymoon, where the two of you can spend quality time together.
21. Go shopping with her and don’t sigh or look at what time it is even once.
22. Take her out to breakfast or make her breakfast (cleaning up afterward).
23. Make the time to set specific goals with her to achieve together for each year.
24. Give her grace when she offends you and forgive (even as you want to be forgiven).
25. Find ways to help her know you are her partner in all areas life.
26. Be polite, courteous, and mannerly with her—not taking her for granted.
27. Exhibit humility, admit your mistakes, and ask for forgiveness. She’ll appreciate that!
28. Defend her to others—especially to your family.
29. Don’t belittle her intelligence.
30. Scratch her back, rub her feet, or her rub her neck—whatever she’d prefer.
31. Get up in the middle of the night (let her stay in bed) to take care of your upset child.
32. Be especially helpful when she is not feeling well.
33. When she asks how your day went, don’t just say “fine” —actually give her details.
34. Thank God for her by name when the two of you are praying together.
35. Try not to argue over money. Peacefully discuss future expenditures instead.
36. Don’t embarrass her by arguing with her in front of others.
37. Lead your family in their spiritual relationship with God. This is important to her.
38. Make eye contact when she is talking to you and when you are talking with her.
39. Show her that you prefer her to others—give her your attention whenever possible.
40. Relate what happened at work or whatever you did apart from her.
41. Keep away from anything that gives you sexual gratification, other than your wife.
42. Be helpful, both before and during the time you have visitors in your home. (If you’re not sure of what to do, ask your wife “What can I do that would help the most?”)
43. Brag about her to others, both in front of her and when she is not with you.
44. Surprise her from time-to-time with a card and flowers or a little gift.
45. Remember to tell her or call her as soon as you know you are going to be late.
46. Give her your undivided attention when she wants to talk.
47. Guard your tongue from saying “unwholesome words” or down-grading her.
48. Refuse to compare her unfavorably with others.
49. Encourage her to relax in some way while you clean up after dinner.
50. Be an involved partner in helping with the children and spending time together.
51. Maintain good grooming habits so you look and smell good. It shows you care.
52. Be supportive. Help her to finish her education and goals that are important to her.
53. View and treat her as if God put a sign over her that said, “Make me feel special.”
54. Run errands without complaining.
55. Give her the love gift of being thoughtful and considerate to her relatives.
56. Don’t negatively compare her relatives with yours.
57. Sit close to her —even when you are just watching television.
58. Be verbally supportive and honor her in front of the children.
59. Do not making plans without her agreeing with them (unless it’s a surprise).
60. Pro-actively do things that makes her feel cherished as a woman and as a wife.
61. Keep her trust at all costs. Leave no gray area when it comes to other female relationships, money and your word. (Dave Ramsey)
62. Ask for a list of 3 things she’d like done in the home. Priortize to do them ASAP.
63. Ask her and then listen to what makes her fearful and insecure (without judging).
64. Pray about and act upon what you can do to alleviate those fears.
65. Find out what her sexual needs are (and then try to fulfill them).
66. Surprise her with a 15 second kiss (with no expectations to go any further).
67. Put effort in to keep yourself in good shape so she’s especially proud to be with you.
68. Make it a point to write a mission statement together for your marriage and family.
69. Take the time to touch every day—even if it’s only for a minute or two.
70. Be polite and kind. (Often we’re kinder to strangers than we are to our spouse.)
71. Be sensitive enough to ask her if you offend or hurt her sexually in any way.
72. Go out of your way to help her feel valued over everyone else.
73. Consider her as your marital partner in how you spend money.
74. You dated your wife before marriage, and fell in love. Date her now to STAY in love.
75. Be careful to choose your words, especially when angry.
76. Show affection for her in front of friends.
77. Make sure your children speak to her and treat her in respectful ways.
78. Make a point of honoring anniversaries, birthdays, and other special occasions.
79. Make sure she has money to spend any way she would choose.
80. Hold her close and verbally express your love when she is hurt or discouraged.
81. Surprise her by giving her a special gift from time to time.
82. Share the responsibilities around the house (without looking for special recognition).
83. Don’t tease and belittle her, saying “I was just joking” when she doesn’t find it funny.
84. Allow her to express herself freely, without fear of being called illogical or dumb.
85. Don’t forget to hold her hand in public like you used to when you dated her.
86. Don’t criticize her in front of others—keeping her dignity in tact.
87. Don’t focus on the physical features of another woman (It dishonors your wife).
88. Be sensitive to her needs—looking for ways to bless her.
89. Let her know you want to spend special time with her and the children.
90. Fix dinner for her sometimes.
91. Be sympathetic when she’s sick—and help her however you can.
92. Let her sleep in sometimes and you get the children ready for the day.
93. Honor her by not disagreeing with her in front of the children.
94. Don’t ignore the small things that bother her and let them build into bigger issues.
95. Surprise her by doing some things around the house that she’s wanted done.
96. Tell her (and show her) you love her often.
97. Call, email or text her when you’re apart so she knows you are thinking of her.
98. Surprise her by suggesting a marriage seminar or weekend retreat you can attend together.
99. Express your love and appreciation for her in a love note which you give to her.
100. Show her affection without sexual intentions.
- Respectfully communicate with him.
2. Let him know he’s important to you.
3. Purposefully try to understand his feelings—even when you disagree with him.
4. Show interest in his friends giving him some time with them if they’re trust-worthy.
5. Let go of the small stuff. We all have annoying habits and preferences that are different from our spouse’s. (Dave Ramsey)
6. Tell him you both love him AND like him.
7. Either show interest in his hobbies or allow him space to participate freely. (D Ramsey)
8. Protect his dignity on a daily basis.
9. When confronting him, realize he has feelings also.
10. Foster an atmosphere of laughter in your home. Look for ways to laugh together.
11. Try not to make sudden major changes without discussion, giving him time to adjust.
12. When you go out on a date together don’t bring up problems—have fun instead.
13. Focus on what he’s doing right, instead of focusing so often on the negatives.
14. Show interest in what he feels is important in life.
15. Give him special time with you apart from the children.
16. The first minutes after a spouse comes home often sets the stage for how the rest of the evening will go. Try to make that time a positive experience. (Ease into the negative.)
17. Give him time to unwind after he gets home from work. Your evenings will be much more enjoyable. (Dave Ramsey)
18. Don’t allow family members to treat him disrespectfully. Defend him to anyone that dishonors his place as your husband.
19. Compliment him often.
20. Be creative when you express your love, both in words and in actions.
21. Talk with him about having specific family goals for each year to achieve together to feel closer as a marital team.
22. Don’t over commit yourself. Leave time for him.
23. Extend God’s grace to him and be forgiving when he offends you.
24. Find ways to show him you need him.
25. Give him time to be alone. (This energizes him to reconnect at other times.)
26. Admit your mistakes; don’t be afraid to be humble. Peel away your pride.
27. Defend him to those who disrespectfully talk abouthim. Love protects (1 Cor. 13:7).
28. Respect his desire to do well—not his performance.
29. Rub his feet or neck, or scratch his back after a hard day.
30. Take time for the two of you to sit and talk calmly (schedule it when necessary).
31. Initiate going out on romantic outings (when he’s not tired).
32. Email him when he’s at work, telling him how much you love him.
33. Surprise him with a fun gift of some kind that he’d really enjoy.
34. Express how much you appreciate him for working so hard to support the family.
35. Tell him how proud you are of him for who he is (giving him specific reasons).
36. Give advice in a loving way — not in a nagging or belittling way.
37. Help your husband to be the Spiritual head at home (without “lording” it over him).
38. Reserve some energy for him so you’re not so tired when he wants you sexually.
39. Don’t expect him to do projects beyond his natural capabilities.
40. Pray for him to enjoy God’s best in life.
41. Take special notice for what he has done for you and the family.
42. Brag about him to other people both in front of him and even when he’s not there.
43. Keep conversations brief when he’s tired—so he isn’t “flooded” by too many words.
44. Tell him 3 things you specifically appreciate about him.
45. Honor him in front of the children (differ respectfully in private when necessary).
46. “Look straight into the eyes of your husband when he talks to you or if you’re speaking to him. This will make him feel that you are interested in what he wants to say.” (J. Clain)
47. Get up with him, even when he gets up earlier than you want to and pray with him (you can go back to bed afterward, if possible —it’s a sacrifice worth making.)
48. Be his “help-mate” in whatever ways you sense he needs it.
49. Participate in shoulder-to-shoulder activities with him (like watching a movie and such) without talking. Sometimes men just like to BE with you and not talk.
50. Be a student of his ways so you show your love in ways he best comprehends it.
51. When your husband is in a bad mood give him time to recover. Don’t crowd him.
52. Help him to finish his goals, hobbies, or education when your see he needs it.
53. Treat him as if God has stamped on his forehead: “Handle With Care.”
54. Work to get rid of habits that annoy him.
55. Be kind and thoughtful to his relatives. Don’t make him choose between you.
56. Don’t compare his relatives with yours in a negative way.
57. Thank him for things he’s done around the house. (It means a lot to men).
58. Don’t expect credit for all you do for him. Do it as “unto the Lord.”
59. Make sure he agrees with everything important that you’re planning to do.
60. Do little things for him—let him sleep in, bring him coffee, etc.
61. Don’t belittle his intelligence or be cynical in your words with him.
62. Initiate sex periodically. And respond more often.
63. Sometimes let him enjoy his day off work without having to “work” at home.
64. Get to the point in your discussions. Spare him details unless he wants them.
65. Discover his sexual needs.
66. Surprise him with a 15 second kiss when he gets home from work.
67. Wink at him from across the room when you’re out at a group function.
68. Give him the benefit of the doubt when he mis-speaks.
69. Don’t quarrel over words.
70. Be kind and courteous with him. (Don’t be kinder to strangers than to him.)
71. When things go wrong, instead of assessing blame, focus on how to do better.
72. As a kindness, don’t say, “I told you so.”
73. Try not to argue over money. Peacefully discuss future expenditures instead.
74. Take him out on dates—pre-planning all of the details ahead of time.
75. Hold his hand and snuggle up close to him at times both at home and in public.
76. Praise his good decisions; minimize the bad ones.
77. Tell him you love him more often.
78. Put love notes in his pockets and brief case.
79. Sit with him while he’s watching TV—even if the program doesn’t interest you.
80. Don’t expect him to read your mind (despite your thinking he should— extend grace).
81. Periodically, give him time with his family alone.
82. Check with him before you throw away his papers and stuff, when possible.
83. Put effort in to keep yourself in good shape so he’s especially proud to be with you.
84. Let him express himself freely, without fear of being called stupid or illogical.
85. Carefully choose your words. Remember to “speak the truth in LOVE.”
86. Don’t criticize him in front of others—keeping his dignity in tact.
87. Visit his childhood home with him.
88. When you’re angry, express it in respectful ways. Don’t give the silent treatment.
89. Pray for him.
90. Make him homemade soup when he’s sick.
91. Look your best—dress to honor him and make him proud to be seen with you when you’re out together.
92. Support him when someone tries to put him down. Be his best cheer leader.
93. Don’t disagree with him in front of the children.
94. Take him for a weekend get-away without the children.
95. Cheer his successes whether in business or in other areas of everyday living.
96. Graciously teach him how to demonstrate his love for you.
97. Give him coupons to redeem—maybe for a back scratch or a shoulder rub.
98. Buy him a gift certificate to his favorite lunch spot and put it in his wallet.
99. Hide notes for him around the house where only he will find them.
100. Thank him for just being himself.